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A Brief History of CrossFit

Everyone is talking about CrossFit, but where did the craze come from? Who thought of it? What are the founding principles?

Let’s take a look at the history of CrossFit and how it is implemented today.

The CrossFit Founder

Greg Glassman founded CrossFit in 2000, but the CrossFit philosophy started even earlier than that. As a teenager, Glassman was a gymnast but was athletic in other arenas such as weightlifting and bicycling.

Like most teen athletes, Glassman wanted to improve his strength and be better at his sport.

He found that by practicing a variety of exercises, he could become stronger than his peers who focused on only one method of training.

For example, he used weights to get stronger than his fellow gymnasts who trained using only body weight and he was easily more flexible than his bicycling friends.

After dabbling in different training methods, Glassman started to wonder what the point of specialization was.

He knew that if he trained in a variety of ways there would always be specialists who were better than him, but at least he had a variety of skills and abilities.

Enter: CrossFit

Glassman took his idea for using a variety of training methods to create the exercise philosophy that we know of as CrossFit today. CrossFit focuses on preparing the body for a wide range of physical tasks; “prepare for the unexpected” is one mantra of CrossFit devotees.

Like the teenage Glassman, people who train using CrossFit do not specialize on any one particular method. Instead, they use a wide range of movements and strategies to improve their general level of fitness.

In 1995, Glassman opened his first gym in Santa Cruz and was hired to train the local police department. Due to space and time constraints, he started doing CrossFit training in small groups and found that group workouts were even more effective than one-on-one exercises, so he incorporated groups into the CrossFit community from that point onward.

Defining Features of CrossFit Today

CrossFit is known for its lack of specialization for its measurable, repeatable results. Exercises are specific, high-intensity, and short in duration. For those who are established members of the CrossFit community this list will reinforce the ten qualities that CrossFit trainees hope to improve upon:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Agility
  3. Balance
  4. Coordination
  5. Endurance
  6. Flexibility
  7. Power
  8. Speed
  9. Stamina
  10. Strength

CrossFit has taken the exercise world by storm since it was formally founded in 2000. In just a little over a decade the CrossFit craze has exploded around the world and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.